Epic Scottish Ale Recipe: Brewing Up a Storm with Scottish Flair and Flavor


  • 3 lbs 12.0 oz Pale Malt, Maris Otter
  • 6.0 oz Crystal 80
  • 5.0 oz Pale Chocolate
  • 1.0 oz Roasted Barley
  • 0.75 oz Fuggle [4.50 %] – Boil 30.0 min
  • 1.0 pkg Scottish Ale (Wyeast Labs #1728)

I’m brewing an Epic Scottish ale. Why epic? I’ll come to that in a moment. And I want to show you a packaging solution that has become one of my absolute favorite ways of packaging beer, and it’s something I’ve been using for a little while.

In the far corner of my basement here, I have twisty cans. One box of small ones and one box of bigger ones. And what is a twisty can? Well, it’s these things. It’s basically an aluminum can, or aluminium.

The thing that makes these particularly cool is these caps. It just goes on and then a tiny little turn, it’s on. So what is that, like a quarter turn maybe? And it creates a really, really tight seal. I’ve got a 12 ounce can here and then a 32 ounce.

The other thing is in these caps, they have a little bit of an oxygen absorbing top. So the idea is that you can fill this all up, put your beer in, cap it, and with that quarter turn, it’s basically sealed.

And I’ve done a little experiment of my own. And this experiment has been three months in the making. You see, I have a problem when it comes to packaging my beer in cans. I have a can seamer, and when it works, it is a beauty to behold. I have my blonde ale in here. This is rock hard. It’s really keeping the beer fresh, very much under pressure.

But for every one of these, I also have one of these squishy ones and it’s completely my fault, but I don’t think I’ve quite got the hang of the can seamer yet. And, in fact, this is sticky because there’s just a little amount of the beer coming out. You can see it right on the bottom there.

This however, is pretty much foolproof, even for me. So I filled this with seltzer water three months ago. And the question is, is it still fizzy? And it most certainly is.

Now I’ve got some ideas on how best to get beer into these things, but how about we brew a beer first?

Back to Brewing…

I wasn’t always the biggest fan of Scottish ales, but I’ve actually grown to really appreciate them. I think there’s sometimes a concern that they can be a little bit cloy-ey, a little bit too sweet. You do need to sort of balance the caramel malt to avoid that.

But here’s what I really like about Scottish ales, that is the richness of flavor you get, despite the fact that it has a really low ABV. This one is about 3.7%. This is by no means a light beer. We’re approaching 20 for the SRM, which you can really get the impression of here, wonderful color.

And the base malt for this is Maris Otter, that makes up 84% of the grist. To that I have crystal malt. Yes, there is some crystal in here. This is crystal 80 and that makes up 8% of the grist. And then, 7% is pale chocolate malt, and 1% roasted barley.

And I really like that combination of crystal 80 and pale chocolate malt to give the beer that characteristic maltiness without being too sweet. Now, I’m going to mash this at 152 Fahrenheit, or 67 Celsius. And given the low ABV, this shouldn’t take long.

Now, what makes this one epic? Well, I’m collaborating with Epic Beer Trips on this one to brew our own version of a Scottish ale. And then, we’re going to get together and talk about the recipes and try the finished beer.

Now at the end of every beer tasting, when Norm comes over, we end up filling one or two of the big crowler sized twisty cans. And Norm takes those home. I just fill those from the tap, but because I’m going to take some beer and store it for a little while, I want to find an easy way to fill that and sort of minimize the oxygen transfer.

Here’s what I’ve come up with. I always have on hand a keg of Star San, and because it’s distilled water, this thing keeps for a long time. The other thing I’m using is some CO2 and I have this tap cooler. I actually use this for canning. You can use it for filling bottles, as well.

And I’m just going to use this as my counter flow chiller. I’m going to take my twisty cans and sanitize them. All right, that’ll do. Everything should be sanitized now. Thank you for your service Star San keg. Replacing that with a keg of actual beer that I want to can.

This is a just a little bit pressurized, just take it straight out of my keezer. So connect this and now I’m going to connect the CO2 to the other side of this tap cooler. Now, whenever I press this button on the top, that’s the CO2 coming out. So I’m going to take one of my cans, give it a quick flush and add the beer. And that’s really all there is to it. Three canned beers.

Fuggle is my bittering hop. Actually, the only hop. I’m going to add about 21 grams of Fuggle into this three gallon batch. And I’m boiling for 30 minutes. And this’ll go in right at the start.

Look, it’s a Scottish beer and it’s not going to be hoppy. This is really just primarily for bittering. Although, if any of those sort of earthy notes of the Fuggle end up coming through into the beer, I won’t be that upset.

So the water is currently 71, 72 Fahrenheit, or 21, 22 Celsius. I’m going to get it lower than that before I add in my yeast. This is my yeast, I’m using Scottish Ale. This is wyeast 1728.

Now, this has a very, very wide range of accepted fermentation temperatures, from 55 Fahrenheit up to 75 Fahrenheit.

And it’s a very good, clean house strain at the lower end, but can generate some esters at the higher end. I’m not really looking for a lot of ester production for this beer.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Scottish Ale?

Scottish Ale is a style of beer that originates from Scotland. It’s known for its malt-forward profile and low hop bitterness. This ale is often characterized by its caramel and toasty flavors, with a range of strengths from light to heavy.

The specific Scottish Ale discussed in the Epic Scottish Ale Recipe is crafted to present a balance of malt sweetness and a touch of smoky depth, embodying a hearty and warm characteristic that is perfect for sipping on a chilly evening.

How is Scottish Ale different from Scotch Ale?

While both hail from Scotland, Scottish Ale and Scotch Ale are different in terms of their flavor profiles and alcohol content. Scottish Ale is generally lighter, with a more malt-forward taste and lower alcohol content.

On the other hand, Scotch Ale, also known as “Wee Heavy,” is richer, sweeter, and has a higher alcohol content. It often showcases a complex malt profile with caramel, toffee, and sometimes smoky or peaty notes.

The Epic Scottish Ale Recipe on the website provides a formulation for a Scottish Ale, which is lighter in comparison to a Scotch Ale but still retains a robust malt character.

How do you craft a Scottish Ale as per the Epic Recipe mentioned?

The Epic Scottish Ale Recipe outlined in the article provides a detailed step-by-step process on how to craft this particular style of ale.

The process begins with gathering the necessary ingredients, which primarily includes a variety of malts to achieve the desired malt profile. Following the malting process, the recipe guides through mashing, boiling, fermenting, and finally bottling the ale.

The meticulous steps involved in the process ensure a well-crafted Scottish Ale that boasts of a balanced malt sweetness and a hint of smoky intrigue.

What malts are utilized in the Scottish Ale recipe provided?

The core of the Scottish Ale’s distinctive taste lies in its malt composition. The recipe employs a mix of malts to achieve a balanced flavor and color. The primary malts used include Maris Otter and Munich malts, which contribute to the ale’s rich malt backbone.

Additional malts like Melanoidin and Crystal are utilized to enhance the color and add complexity to the flavor. A touch of Peated malt is also included in the recipe to infuse a subtle smoky character to the ale, which is a hallmark of traditional Scottish Ales.

What are some of the best Scottish beers and ales to compare with homemade Scottish Ale?

If you’re looking to compare your homemade Scottish Ale to commercially available options, some of the revered Scottish beers and ales include Belhaven Scottish Ale, McEwan’s Scotch Ale, and Orkney Skull Splitter.

These beers exemplify the traditional malt-forward and hearty characteristics of Scottish ales and beers.

By comparing, you can gauge the quality and authenticity of your homemade brew, and perhaps draw inspiration for tweaking your epic recipe to better match the traditional Scottish beer profiles.


How are you? Hey, good to meet you.

Nice to meet you.

This is Brian and Martin.

Very nice to meet you.

This is a great surprise. It’s well done.

You’re going to be my beer taster today.


Thank you for doing this.

Yeah, thank you.

Do you know you’re going to be drinking Scottish ale this morning?

I had no idea.

So I’ve canned these beers this morning.

Go ahead and give it a pour?

Yeah, please.

All right, let’s do it.

So we’re at Drum Trout Brewing Company in, are we still in Wilmington?

We’re in Wilmington. So we’ve been open just over a month, so I’ve been working here since then.

I see the little brewhouse behind us and then pretty interesting selection of different beer types there.

Yeah, exactly. So far, there’s an apricot blonde that has been especially popular. And then a Maiden Voyage brown ale, a few different styles of IPAs. There’s a West coast, a hazy and a session IPA.

So, let’s see. What do we think about the color on this guy?

Yes, I do like the color. You definitely get a really nice brownish caramel to it. There’s like a little hint, I see, of kind of like a red. Especially when you get it just in the light in the right way. It kind of comes through like a nice dark ruby.

It’s got quite an aroma, hasn’t it?

It does, it does. Yeah. The malt really does shine through, as one would expect. And there is that note of sweetness, as well.

Okay. So let’s give this a try then, let’s see what we think. Cheers.

Here we go. Cheers. That malt really comes out in the finish. I really like that. It’s got a really nice roasty character at the end. You get the sweetness, but it’s not like punch you in the face dessert sweet.

Yes. And that was intentional for me because that’s the part of the Scottish beers I don’t really like, is sometimes the cloy-ness of the sweetness. Very malt forward, isn’t it?


It really is. Yeah. And what’s nice about it too, is that it’s a good medium body and you don’t feel like you’re just drinking a syrupy malt.

Yes. Well, thank you very much for doing this.

Yes, thank you. Appreciate it.

It’s a pleasure to meet you.

Yes, you too.

Thanks for letting me come to Drum Trout. You’re not even open for business yet, so this is cool to come in here.

Yeah. Exactly. Yeah. So we’ll be back open today.

Well, cheers.


Thanks a lot.

Thanks, Martin.

That’s a wrap.

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